The Chicago Blackhawks were an active bunch last July 1, gathering up one player after another, wrapping up the busy day by signing Daniel Carcillo.
This July 1, not so much.
The Blackhawks signed defenseman Sheldon Brookbank to a two-year contact, but otherwise stayed quiet as Day 1 of free agency ended on Sunday.
It was an active day for some the Colorado Avalanche were very busy - and a few good names are no longer options for general manager Stan Bowman. Feisty forward Brandon Prust signed with the Montreal Canadiens. Defenseman Jason Garrison, a British Columbia native, signed with the Vancouver Canucks.
A few big fish remain, as forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter will sleep on it Sunday night and likely select their suitors Monday.
The Blackhawks, however, probably arent on the short list of either player and the defensemen pool, which wasnt too deep to begin with, is really shallow now.
Bowman said prior to the draft that he believes the Blackhawks, as they are now, can compete for the Stanley Cup. Coach Joel Quenneville agreed. But if the Blackhawks are Cup worthy in 2012-13 they shouldve also been close in 2011-12. They werent. Be it supporting cast, be it defense, be it goaltending, the Blackhawks have needs to address.
There is plenty of time left in free agency. Trades are also possible throughout the summer. The Blackhawks have good pieces to give up to get what they need, but one way or another, this roster will get shuffled before next season begins.
The Blackhawks didnt have the biggest, flashiest start to this summer free agencytrade season. But they will need to do something by the time its finished.